Japanese shares down 1.24% by lunch

Japanese shares down 1.24% by lunch
AFP
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First Published: Tue, Feb 05 2008. 11 13 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Feb 05 2008. 11 13 AM IST
Tokyo: Japanese share prices fell by 1.24% in morning trade on Tuesday as investors took profits after US and European markets turned in a lacklustre performance overnight, dealers said.
They said investors were cautious ahead of another slew of earnings results from Japanese corporate heavyweights including Toyota Motor Corp.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index dropped 171.69 points to 13,688.01 by the lunch break. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares declined 15.09 points or 1.11% to 1,349.63.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 1,105 to 484, with 127 issues unchanged.
Turnover rose to 943 million shares from 938 million on Monday morning.
Shares retreated on the heels of US stocks which finished lower Monday amid concerns about corporate earnings and problems at US bond insurers.
Investors were waiting for a third-quarter earnings report of Toyota Motor Corp. that could have a broad impact on the market, dealers said.
“If Toyota revises upward its earnings forecasts for the current fiscal year, the company will have room to grant its workers’ request for a pay raise,” said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities.
“A Toyota pay hike may mean other Japanese companies will follow suit and that may result in higher consumption, definitely spurring the economy,” Nakanishi said.
Stocks were lower across a broad front, with property and banking issues losing ground.
Among property shares, Mitsui Fudosan was down 70 yen or 2.6% at 2,430, Mitsubishi Estate lost 110 yen or 3.8% to 2,790 and Sumitomo Realty & Development gave up 140 yen or 5.0% to 2,650.
Big banks were weaker. Mizuho Financial slipped 13,000 yen or 2.6% to 482,000, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial shed 26 yen or 2.5% at 1,008 and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial was 12,000 yen or 1.4% lower at 829,000.
Olympus was limit-down 500 yen at 3,100 after the digital camera maker lowered its earnings forecast for this fiscal year.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 05 2008. 11 13 AM IST
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